Huawei India launched their flagship smartphone, the Huawei P20 Pro in India last year. The handset comes with a triple camera setup at the back and a notched OLED display up front. With such key features, it aims to compete against the likes of the Apple iPhone XS and Samsung Galaxy S9. Does it still stand out even in 2019? Find out in our full review below.
Huawei P20 Pro Review: Specifications
Huawei P20 Pro sports a 6.1-inch OLED notched display with a resolution of 2240x1080 pixels. The device is powered by the HiSilicon Kirin 970 processor coupled with Mali-G72 MP12 GPU. The dual-SIM handset comes with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage. It runs Google's Android 9.0 Pie-based EMUI 9. All of this is backed by a 4,000mAh battery.
Price: Rs. 49,990
Huawei P20 Pro Review: Design
When it comes to design, Huawei P20 Pro looks quite similar to most flagships smartphones of early 2018. These design features include a glass sandwich design and a notch up front. Huawei took it one step further by including a fingerprint scanner on the front of the phone. However, this was a quite contradictory decision as such bottom bezel eliminates the need for a notch. Notably, the phone also comes with a pre-applied screen protector, which is much appreciated.
As far as the placements are concerned, the Huawei P20 Pro sports a triple camera setup at the back with vertical Huawei and Leica brandings. Up front, there is a 6.1-inch notched display where the notch consists of the earpiece, selfie camera, notification LED light and a couple of sensors. The left edge of the device houses the dual-SIM tray whereas the right edge is occupied by the volume controls and a coloured power button. While the top consists of the IR blaster and a secondary microphone, the bottom houses the USB Type C port, speaker grill and primary microphone.
Huawei P20 Pro Review: Display
Huawei P20 features a 6.1-inch OLED display with a resolution of 2240x1080 pixels. Being an OLED panel, it brings in punchier colours and deeper blacks bringing a much better viewing experience when compared to other LCD panels.
Huawei P20 Pro Review: Software & UI
Huawei recently rolled out the Android 9.0 Pie based EMUI 9 update for the P20 Pro. It improved the overall performance of the device and brought in a couple of extra features. While all these features glorified the smartphone, the EMUI skin needs a little more attention. During my time with the device, I noticed a few bugs here and there, which include the camera app and system UI crashing multiple times a day.
In a nutshell, EMUI brings in a ton of customisation options and a good amount of features. However, it still needs a little more polishing in order to compete against custom UI skins like OxygenOS on OnePlus and Samsung's recently released One UI.
Huawei P20 Pro Review: Performance
Huawei P20 Pro is powered by the company's own Kirin 970 processor paired with 6GB of RAM. Though the processor is now a bit old, it still holds up pretty well. It is able to handle any task thrown at it. We played games like PUBG Mobile, Asphalt 9: Legends and a few other games during our testing period where we did not notice any sort of lag even in high settings. The frame rates were smooth and the overall experience was overwhelming.
As for the daily tasks, scrolling through the web and switching between multiple applications was quite smooth. However, the UI was sort of a bottleneck here as we did face a few bugs on regular usage.
As for the performance numbers, the P20 Pro managed to get an impressive score of 146657 on AnTuTu benchmarks. In GeekBench, the device secured a respectable score of 1753 in single core performance and multi-core achieved a whopping 5970 points.
Huawei P20 Pro Review: Camera
The camera segment is where the Huawei P20 Pro gets to show off its true potential. The smartphone comes with a triple camera setup on the back consisting of a 40-megapixel primary sensor, an 8-megapixel telephoto lens and a 20-megapixel monochrome sensor.
With no doubt, the Huawei P20 Pro has one of the best camera setups on any smartphone of 2018. The 40-megapixel primary sensor is able to grab enough details that when you edit the photos in software like Lightroom, you end up getting a lot of data to work with.
The telephoto sensor helps in shooting good portrait shots and the 20-megapixel monochrome sensor picks up the extra details. In simple words, they all work together to get some really good shots.
However, if there is one thing that could spoil your experience is the software. Though the camera app is easy to use and navigate, the bugs in EMUI make the experience miserable. We noticed a bug several times where the camera app just stopped working in the middle of shooting a picture. Barring that, it is one of the best camera phones you can buy right now.
Huawei P20 Pro Review: Battery
Huawei P20 Pro is backed by a 4,000mAh battery. The battery is relatively large and with the optimisations made in EMUI, the phone easily lasts more than a day on a single charge. During our review period, with heavy usage, we were easily able to get through one full working day on a single charge with around 25 percent battery left at the end of the day.
Huawei P20 Pro Review: Verdict
Huawei launched the P20 Pro back in 2018 with a price tag of Rs. 64,999. Over the period of around a year, the phone's pricing has significantly dropped and it is now available for a price of Rs. 49,999. With the new price, the P20 Pro makes a much better deal now. Even with smartphones like Samsung Galaxy S10e and Apple iPhone XR giving it a tough competition, the P20 Pro still manages to stand out and deliver what it was made for.
While the phone comes with really good rear cameras, however, it lacks usability. EMUI has come a long way on the road and has improved drastically when compared to its older versions. However, it still has a few bugs here and there and that is what ends up spoiling the whole user experience.